Monday, 4 February 2013
Review: Dead in LA by Lou Harper
Whilst I quite enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book which managed to keep me guessing but wasn't too complicated, it was the way that the relationship developed between Jon and Lea that was the main draw in the story for me. Jon is a bit of a grumpy guy but as the story develops we see the reasons why he is grumpy and why he feels so downbeat and washed out. He's suffering a sort of emotional fatigue but Lea manages to creep through his defenses, calling to Jon innate protective nature. Lea is a quiet, independent guy and the pair seem well suited because Lea's core of strength means that Jon can relax with him. Their feelings develop slowly throughout both stories and the sexual tension zings off the page.
The second story, Dead in the Valley, wasn't as strong with the mystery theme. In fact that part was very weak with one part never solved and the other part relying too much on the crazy actions of another character. However, as the main thrust of the story was the continued development of Jon and Lea's relationship, I didn't mind that so much. The story follows Jon as he meets unexpectedly with an ex-lover, Kevin. There's past hurts between them but Lea acts as a bridge when he starts to feel something strange about the house where Kevin lives with his new lover.
It's in this story that we get to see more of Jon's past and how that has shaped him into the person we see. Jon's feelings for Lea are taking small baby steps as he learns to trust again and by the end things are coming along nicely. It's not all resolved between them and I get the feeling there will be more from this pair in future. I hope so. I also liked seeing Lea in his element as he charms his way through parties and sets up new clients for himself. It's a different side to his personality than we see when he is with Jon and I found that appealing.
Overall, this was an enjoyable pair of stories. The LA setting is strong, especially in the first story, and I liked both characters a great deal. I would recommend this book with a grade of 'Very Good' to those looking for an opposites attract romance with an unusual paranormal subplot.
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